I was going to write about heroes today, but I realized that there are subcategories of heroes that should be explored. So today’s character type is the poor lad/lass (my name, not an official one). This is possible the most well known character type, not only in fairy tales, but in all of story-telling. This character type is associated with “the quest” plot. Some well-known examples include Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, and Katniss Everdeen.
1. Humble beginnings. The poor lad is, well, poor. Often an orphan, or at least minus one parent, the poor lad struggles to eek out a living. Despite all that, the poor lad is content with his life. He values relationships over possessions.
2. Chosen by fate. Sometimes it’s a magic sword. Other times it’s a prophecy. Sometimes the hero chooses it. Or it could be a complete coincidence. No matter how, the poor lass is fated to be a hero.
3. Reluctant to accept fate. Some poor lads aspire to more than they currently are. Some hope to become knights, Jedis, or wizards. But very rarely do they expect to become a force for good. These poor lads don’t wish to be the only person standing against evil. It may take some convincing, but they do eventually embrace their role.
4. Inherently good. Poor lasses must be good if they are to become heroes. We usually see them caring for injured or down-on-their-luck travelers, befriending local animals, or making some sort of sacrifice for family and friends. It’s easy to see why they are chosen to combat evil.
5. Embark on a quest. Like I said earlier, poor lads are often associated with quests. They are forced through some tragedy to leave home and end up on a crusade for justice.
6. Mentor/Group. Poor lasses know the value of good companions. They surround themselves with people they can learn from and lean on. Sometimes one or two are lost along the way, but that only motivates our hero more.
What do you think? Did I miss any traits? Who are some heroes of this type you can think of?
Also, don’t forget about the contest I have going on! It ends in 10 days.